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SOVEREIGN MAN

Role Reversal: Canadians now richer than Americans

Canadian Dollar

For decades Americans have historically belittled and talked down to their northern Canadian neighbors. However in recent years, due to the collapse of the US housing market and their insurmountable debt, Canada is looking like a much more promising place economically and politically over the United States. US News reports on the recent role reversal between the US and Canada:

…the average Canadian household is more than $40,000 richer than the average American household. The net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, compared to around $320,000 for Americans.

“These are not 60-cent dollars, but Canadian dollars more or less at par with the U.S. greenback,” Globe and Mail‘s Michael Adams writes.

To add insult to injury, not only are Canadians comparatively better-off than Americans, they’re also more likely to be employed. The unemployment rate is 7.2 percent—and dropping—in Canada, while the U.S. is stuck with a stubbornly high rate of 8.2 percent.

Besides a strengthening currency and a better labor market, experts credit the particularly savage fallout from the financial crisis on the U.S. economy and housing market, which torpedoed home values and gutted household wealth. According to the report, real estate held by Canadians is worth more than $140,000 more on average and they have almost four times as much equity in their real estate investments.

In a column for Bloomberg View, Stephen Marche traces the increasing wealth spread between the two countries to America’s “struggles to find its way out of an intractable economic crisis and a political sine curve of hope and despair.”

“The Canadian System is working,” Marche writes, crediting Canada’s cautious, fiscally conservative society. “[T]he American system is not.”

Continue to the full article…

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tim

    Canada’s housing bubble has yet to burst while the US’s burst a few years ago.  Once Canada’s bubble bursts, that $140k average difference between Canadian and US real estate will tighten up significantly.

  • Cliff

    A major mitigating factor is that prices are generally lower in the US than in Canada, and a good part of the wealth difference is due to a likely housing price bubble in Canada.  We live part of the year in both countries (Alberta and Montana) and can attest to these differences.  So, we Canadians should not be complacent!

  • Canuck
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